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Dynasty CEO shares big vision for downtown tower, next steps

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering from Dynasty Financial Partners. City of St. Petersburg documents.

St. Petersburg-based wealth management firm Dynasty will develop a downtown Class A office tower that will incorporate residential units and be used to recruit fintech firms to the city. 

Dynasty was one of seven development teams vying to purchase the lot at 910 2nd Ave. South, used as parking for the Tampa Bay Rays, to transform it into a live-work development. Last week, in an exclusive interview, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced the selection of Dynasty’s proposal. 

Under Dynasty’s plans, the new Class A offices would house Dynasty’s new HQ and potentially the new HQ for Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest firm. It would also provide residential units with workforce housing, and an innovation and recruiting hub among other components. Ken Jones of Third Lake Partners and Steve Case of Revolution would be anchor contributors to the innovation hub of the project. 

Penney said Dynasty, located in the 200 Central tower where ARK Invest is also located, was seeking a larger space as it is preparing for more acquisitions and will need a site to consolidate them. He said Wood was also in need of a larger footprint for ARK Invest.  

The entire project for the 2-acre site could cost anywhere from $140 million to $160 million. 

Penney talked more about the grand vision and the long-term process: 

What was your reaction to learning that the mayor selected your proposal? In my experience with Kriseman, he always does what he feels is best for the city. We felt we put together a strong proposal in terms of economic development and the mixed-use plans of the building. There has to be financial strength in any new project – capital is important and expertise of economic development. We trusted the mayor and city with their decision. When we were selected, I called each of the partners from Steve to Cathie, to Kim and Marc [Iron Chef and Michelin star holder Marc Forgione]. We all hope this will move quickly, and we are excited to partner with the mayor-elect and get fresh perspectives. 

On the commercial side, this appears to add more office options for firms beyond those listed in the proposal. 

We really like the building we are currently in and we liked Third Lake Partners so much that we wanted to partner with them for the new building. When you build a project like this, you want a substantial amount of real estate offerings from an investor’s perspective. It’s hard to build on spec because you lose money the longer it sits. We know over half of the space will be filled by internal demand with Dynasty’s offices and ARK Invest. I can envision a firm that wants to do business with us or currently does would decide to co-locate in the same building. I don’t think we will have any issues filling the space.

Why did you decide to integrate the commercial and residential into one building? The plans for the residential units still need to be finalized. We submitted the plan to have one building that would integrate commercial, restaurants and mixed-use space for tenants. The residential units would be built on top of the offices. We looked at renderings of what it would look like to separate the commercial from residential. The best way to maximize the space at the site would be to combine everything. 

What are the next steps? We are in the process of finalizing the purchase and working with the city’s team and ours to pull plans together [Dynasty has offered the city $6.25 million to purchase the site]. There will be a whole host of permitting requirements for us, but we are ready to go. 

Will there be any incentives associated with the site you may pursue? The site is in an opportunity zone. Being a large wealth management firm, we frequently advise clients that opportunity zones are great in terms of potential developments on needed investments. In terms of tax benefits, they only work if you can generate revenue. It still has to stand on its own merit. There is a potential benefit for us, but that was not the primary driving reason for the team. My hope is this building that will sit on the edge of the Tropicana Field site will jumpstart the redevelopment of the Trop.   

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